Train company East Coast is thanking thousands of passengers who helped raise £10,000 in just one day to make a difference to children living on the streets.
More than 40 directors and senior managers across the Company went ‘back to the floor’, to join crews on-board train services between London and the East Midlands, Yorkshire, North East England and Scotland.
The day was part of a series of ‘Go MAD’ – or ‘Make A Difference’ – events to raise money for the Railway Children, an international children’s charity which rescues homeless children on the streets of Britain and around the world.
East Coast’s Chairman Michael Holden, directors and senior managers staffed buffet counters and refreshment trolleys, and served complimentary food and drinks to passengers travelling in First Class as they travelled on trains last Friday (9 March).
A specially-created Carrot and Cranberry Cake was sold on-board to passengers, while customers also helped to raise the £10,000 by making donations into collection buckets on the day, with every penny raised going to the Railway Children charity.
East Coast Chairman Michael Holden said: “We’re delighted at the support we received from passengers for this excellent cause and would like to thank everyone who contributed for their wonderful generosity. Every penny of the £10,000 raised will go to the Railway Children charity.
“We also thoroughly enjoyed the day, working alongside our teams who provide great service to passengers every day. Together, we have really made a difference.”
The Railway Children charity was set up in 1993 when David Maidment, a senior rail manager at the time, saw for himself the plight of street children outside a railway terminal in India. He returned to Britain and found no charity was intervening early enough to save youngsters from poverty and abuse on the streets.
Over 100,000 children run away each year in the UK, and around 20% of these are under 12 years of age.
Railway Children Chief Executive Terina Keene said: “Every penny raised on the day will be spent on worthwhile projects and give children a better future.
“Even £5 can provide a child with three good meals a day for 12 days: more than that, it can help provide a ticket to escape from the horrors of street life.”
Railway Children now has projects in the UK, India and East Africa, based on a three-step approach to securing long-term positive change – meeting the needs of children, shifting local perceptions, and holding governments responsible.
The charity says donations as small as £1 will provide a child on the streets with basic materials they need to read and write, while £10 will provide clothing and toiletries for a runaway child in a refuge centre.